Tata Global Beverages may enter food business

August 23rd, 2010 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 23 (IANS) Tata Global Beverages (TGB), known earlier as Tata Tea, may diversify into food business, Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata said here Monday.

“Change in name (has been) done to reflect change in business of the company, which going forward would be more and more beverages and eventually and possibly into food,” Tata said, addressing shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting.

Asked to elaborate on the categories of food business, he said: “Obviously, beverages could be liquid and solid.”

The Tata Group is also mulling increasing stakes in key companies.

TGB Chief Executive Peter Unsworth said the company is looking at a $5 billion sales revenue and 15 percent earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by 2015.

The company is looking at growing in the core tea market in the ongoing financial year (2010-11) and build scale in the US and Russia.

It is also planning to expand across beverage categories in India.

“We will continue to invest in innovation of new products. There will be wide innovative products in the

beverage company and we will focus on wellness and good health products,” said Tata.

He said the company will make its delivery channels robust to cater to customers in a better way.

Talking about the TEA!ON brand, he said TGB is looking at the brand’s distribution in India and to make it a pan-India product.

Asked about Mount Everest and Tata Coffee merger, Tata said: “We always look at merging like businesses to optimise operation. The company will look at it when we feel the time is right.”

Refering to the proposed joint venture with Pepsico India, he said the deal would distribute Himalayan brand product which would help in the turnaround of Mount Everest brand.

The company had earlier this year signed a preliminary agreement with PepsiCo India for a joint venture in the non-carbonated drinks segment.

TGB vice chairman R. K. Krishna Kumar said the Pepsico JV will be looking at non-tea liquid bottle brand.

Regarding the food business, he said: “We are looking at category beyond liquid. We may get into acquisition”.

Once the company enters into food business, it might look at acquisitions in South America and Russia in the sector, Krishna Kumar said.

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